Distributive Justice

This is a theme for students interested in ethics and political philosophy. Distritibutive justice concerns how rights and resources should be distributed in a just society (which may, of course, depend on the preferneces of citizens, the constraints of a particular society, etc).

Choosing Courses

When choosing course to develop your theme, please keep the following in mind:

  • The classes below are examples of classes that may be approved for use in this theme.
  • The five thematic courses you choose should coherently work together.
  • No more than two classes taken from outside the School of Arts and Sciences can count towards your PPE major.
  • You may take more than one capstone seminar counting the additional capstones towards your theme courses.
  • Theme courses are your advanced courses in the major. Consult with the PPE Associate Director if you think a lower level course is appropriate for your major, though we recommend you take these courses to fulfill sector requirements.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list; other courses offered by the University may be perfect for the development of your theme. Each semester you should look for relevant courses offered in the core disciplines, PhilosophyPolitical ScienceEconomics, and Psychology, as well as others that may develop your theme. The links below provide easy access to courses offered in some related disciplines, but please search beyond these for relevant theme courses! If you find a relevant course not listed below, you may petition to include the course in your theme with the PPE Associate Director's approval. Successful petitions will articulate how the course directly contributes to the way you are developing your PPE theme. 

Distributive Justice majors may be particularly interested in events held by the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy. Check them out!

Sample Distributive Justice Clusters

Political Philosophy and PPE

LGST 212: Economic Analysis of Law

PHIL 277: Justice, Law, and Morality

PHIL 477: Philosophy and Law

PHIL 475: Political Philosophy

LAW 501: Constitutional Law

Justice and Health Care

ECON 039: Health Care Economics

BIOE 575: Health Care Reform and the Future of American Health Care

PHIL 271: Global Justice

Phil 072: BioMedical Ethics

HCMG 204: Comparative Health Care Systems


Sample Courses  

PHIL 077: Philosophy of Law

PHIL 072: Biomedical Ethics

PHIL 202: Topics in Moral Philosophy

PHIL 233: Philosophy of Economics

PHIL 247: Marx

PHIL 249: Philosophy of Education

PHIL 271: Global Justice

PHIL 277: Justice, Law and Morality

PHIL 371: Topics in Ethics

PHIL 376: Justice

PHIL 379: Value

PHIL 479: Modern Political Philosophy

PHIL 489: Conflict, Ideology and Public Discourse

PHIL 577: Topics in Philosophy of Law

PHIL 578: Topics in Political Philosophy

BIOE 558: Ethical Issues in Reproductive Health

BIOE 575: Health Care Reform and the Future of the American Health Care System

CRIM 270: Bio-Social Criminology

CRIM 300: Law and Criminal Justice

CRIM 402: Criminal Justices Analytics

CRIM 410: Research Seminar in Experiments in Criminal Justice

ECON 014: History of American Capitalism

ECON 030: Public Policy Analysis

ECPM 032: Political Economy

ECON 033: Labor Economics

ECON 036: Law and Economics

ECON 039: Medical Economics

ECON 231: Public Finance

ECON 233: Labor Economics

ECON 261: Topics in Development

PPE 298: PPE Study Abroad Credit

PPE 401: Independent Study

PPE 470: Capstone

PPE 484: Capstone: Philosophy

PPE 498: Honors Thesis

PPE 499: Advanced Research

PSCI 137: Policymaking in American Politics

PSCI 153: International Organizations

PSCI 234: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

PSCI 240: Religion and Public Policy

PSCI 258: Human Rights

PSCI 271/PPE 270: Constitutional Law

PSCI 272: American Constitutional Law II


Non-College Courses (Maximum of 2 may count towards your PPE major)

LGST 100: Ethics and Social Responsibility

LGST 101: Law and Social Values

LGST 215: Environmental Management Law and Policy

LGST 224: Human Rights and Globalization

LGST 226: Markets, Morality and Capitalism

LAWM 505: Constitutional Law 


Penn Major Catalog's entry on PPE's Distributive Justice